Search engine visibility: the effect of generic top-level domain choice.
Hamdulay, Z. & Weideman, M.
Poster in Proceedings of the 8th annual Conference on WWW Applications. 5-8 September. Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Hamdulay, Z. & Weideman, M. 2006. Search engine visibility: the effect of generic top-level domain choice. Poster in Proceedings of the 8th annual Conference on WWW Applications. 5-8 September. Bloemfontein, South Africa. Online: http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/
The objective of this study is to establish the role which gTLDs play in website visibility of e-commerce websites. The factors that cause gTLDs to affect the ranking of e-commerce websites will also be identified.
The research design is empirical, involving the design, hosting and monitoring of a number of test websites. Data will be gathered for each website in all proposed gTLDs for all crawlers visited, whether the website has been ranked and what the highest search engine ranking was for that particular website. Each website will be search engine crawler-friendly and will include title tags in hyperlinks, alt tags in graphics, definitive webpage titles and keyword phrases in the meta tags.
Expected results from the methods employed above could prove that search engine crawlers rank websites in dot-com domains higher than alternative gTLDs. Further outcomes could also prove that websites in alternative gTLDs have to spend more money when branding their websites to Internet users.
This study is intended to make website owners aware of the importance of choosing the appropriate URL to increase website visibility on the Internet. It could also indicate how much branding costs an e-commerce company will save when a relevant URL is used.